Category: Women’s Rights


Education is life-changing for children and young people, but the power of education is systematically ignored in situations of humanitarian crisis – and never more than at present. This neglect is reflected in the tiny amount allocated to children’s schooling in humanitarian responses: it involves only 2% of humanitarian funding. This neglect affects the lives of a generation of children and young people forever – once their education is disrupted it can never be retrieved.

Progress towards recognising education as part of a humanitarian response has been slow and the crisis has been worsening – resulting in millions more children and young people who are missing chance to go to school. There are now more displaced people than ever before – and around half of refugees are children.

And while the media is focused on the plight of families whose lives have been ruined by conflict in Syria, in other parts of the world millions of people have spent many years away from home. Dadaab, in northern Kenya, is the world largest refugee camp and has been in existence for more than 23 years. Strikingly, there are more than 10,000 third-generation refugees in Dadaab, born to parents who were also born in the camps. Yet, while inhabitants of the camps see the importance of education as the only thing they can take home, until recently there were no secondary school opportunities for the vast majority of young people there.

Adolescent girls are the biggest victims in conflict settings.
Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, Author provided

The World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul must be a turning point in giving prominence to education for those caught up in conflict for the sake of this and future generations of children and young people.

Adolescent girls suffer most

Adolescent girls’ education journeys are being blocked in four key ways, as our new infographic shows. First, with just 13% of the extremely small pot of UNHCR education funding allocated to secondary schooling, it is no surprise that just 4% of the poorest girls in conflict affected areas complete secondary school. As a result, adolescent girls in conflict zones are 90% more likely to be out of school than elsewhere.

Schools are unsafe for girls.
Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, Author provided

Even their journeys to school place young girls at risk of physical and sexual violence. More than half of adolescent girls in the Democratic Republic of Congo report experiencing physical violence. And while all the 51 countries affected by conflict since 1985 have reported sexual violence cases against adolescent girls, less than 4% of the funding requested by aid agencies accounts for programmes to tackle gender-based violence. In these situations, saving lives is inseparable from changing lives through education.

Education or marriage?
Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, Author provided

A lack of education can also result in girls being recruited to fight in armed forces. While figures are hard to come by, on one estimate, around 40% of child soldiers are young women. Once recruited, their lives are disposable, three-quarters of suicide bombers in some West African countries have been identified as young women. And military and terrorist organisations abduct young women: in Chibok, northern Nigeria, Boko Haram abducted at least 276 girls – at least 219 of them are still missing.

Girls as child soldiers.
Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, Author provided

Education cannot wait

There is an urgent need to remove the obstacles facing adolescent girls on their journey to school. The shocking statistics presented here provide clear evidence of a problem that can no longer be ignored. Facing up to the problem needs to be accompanied by taking action.

The launch of the Education Cannot Wait Fund at the World Humanitarian Summit next week is a golden opportunity for world leaders to show their commitment to transforming the lives of children and young people for the future.

But realising change is not just about grand gestures at world summits. As commitments we have made together with others as part of the US First Lady’s Let Girls’ Learn Initiative highlight, change has to happen on the ground. Changing journeys of adolescent girls requires working together with communities to ensure they finally get the education they deserve.

The Conversation

Pauline Rose, Professor, International Education and Director, Research for Equitable Access and Learning (REAL) Centre, University of Cambridge

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Source: Rape, murder, forced marriage: What girls in conflict zones get instead of education

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It was while awaiting auditions along with her boyfriend, a fellow actor, that she began to notice stark comparisons in the briefing notes for male and female actors, echoing the sentiments of high-profile actors like Jennifer Lawrence, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Maisie Williams.

“He would get these chunky, long casting breakdowns like ‘this character is an architect, he’s quite sensitive, this is the relationship he’d have with his parents, this is what has happened in his past that has made him this way and so on.’ I would get casting breakdowns that would say ’32 DD’ and just nothing else. There are some I’ve quoted in the book that are just real-life examples like ‘sexy, curvaceous nun must have great cleavage’ or sometimes there’d be really contradictory like ‘she’s naive but f**kable’, ‘She’s a vixen but virginal’.”

Source: Laura Bates: Everyday Sexism Project founder on feminism, porn, sex and the internet | People | News | The Independent

A controversial city mayor’s tightening grip on the Philippine presidential race has made the nation’s currency Asia’s worst performer this month.

The peso slumped 1.6 percent in April as opinion polls showed Rodrigo Duterte, the crime-busting leader of Davao city — who made inflammatory comments about rape and extra-judicial killing — extended his lead before the May 9 vote. He spent 22 years running the city of 1.5 million people and trailed his two closest rivals in a Bloomberg survey of economists on which candidate would best steer economic policy.

“We could see the peso hitting 48 per dollar before heading back to 46.50 by the end of the year,” said Jonathan Ravelas, chief market strategist at BDO Unibank Inc. in Manila. “It’s driven by fear and the normal reaction of local investors is to buy the dollar.”

‘Business as Usual’

Duterte’s spokesman sought to calm market jitters by saying uncertainty usually arises in the weeks before an election, and it will be “business as usual” should the mayor be elected president. The front-runner will provide businesses the “right and proper atmosphere” to prosper without sacrificing the welfare of the people, Peter Lavina said in a statement Tuesday.

The latest poll conducted by Social Weather Stations showed Senator Grace Poe in second place, while Mar Roxas, the candidate backed by Aquino, was third and Vice President Jejomar Binay fourth. While all the contenders are championing reforms started by the outgoing president to boost infrastructure and create more jobs, Poe and Roxas are viewed by economists as the most capable of delivering on their promises.

Duterte has won support from locals by transforming Davao from a city battling crime and gangs in the 1980s to what his campaign calls one of the nation’s safest. A controversial figure, the 71 year-old former lawyer and prosecutor is facing a backlash for comments he made April 12 about the rape of an Australian missionary in a 1989 prison riot. He told the U.S. and Australian ambassadors not to meddle in Philippine politics after they condemned the remarks.

Source: Philippine Peso Sinks as Mayor Likened to Trump Leads Election Race – Bloomberg

It’s a wide story of how an ordinary nightlife – of love, romance, fun, banter, rough and tumble, sometimes wires crossed, hearts broken, lessons learned, egos bruised – can also conceal a culture of cold, premeditated sexual contempt. And how this can be practised in a quite ordinary way by people who would never class themselves as predatory and who would hate to be perceived in that way.

There are variations of this, but when it’s about men doing it to women, it invariably becomes a spin on the age-old madonna/whore divide. Not all men by any means, but those with a particular mind-set who divide women into those they treat respectfully and others. These they don’t need to treat that way, or so they feel, because she’s already demonstrated that “she has no respect for herself”.

This is where things quickly get complicated, because these encounters are rarely accidents. All too often, these women are selected for that very reason – that they’ve somehow compromised themselves before any sex occurs. They could be incredibly drunk, have taken drugs or both. They could have a reputation for partying or for promiscuity. Or maybe they’re just giving an impression of some or all of the above. Drunk, druggy, slutty, lairy, incoherent, stumbling – anything that says: “I’m not totally in control.”

Source: Cold sexual contempt drives too many men | Barbara Ellen | Opinion | The Guardian

Why is it okay for women who have cancer to be kept alive long enough to have more children, despite knowing cancer is a genetic illness passed by women to their female children? Isn’t that infanticide?

but if a man with HIV has children he can be charged with murder?

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